Personal travel

Day 3 or the day my feet fell off


You may note that there is no day 2 post – I got tired. We got up, drove to Vicksburg and toured the battle ground and the museum of the Cairo (a riverboat/battleship that sunk during the battle) and had a lovely time. All my pics, though, are on my real camera and my iPad’s camera connection kit is being fussy. I’ll post ’em when I get home. After that, and much driving, we got into NOLA around 5ish. We went to the LITA get together where we ate, drank and made merry while also spotting the sign above. Gotta love a town that will make librarian jokes…

Day 3 involved getting up, getting to the convention center and walking up and down aisles of vendors until our feet hurt. We got some information, some swag and some good conversations, though! After that, we met a woman I’d met at Internet Librarian some years ago for lunch at a brew-restaurant (where I had very tasty fish tacos and a light, summer beer) and then headed to the French Quarter. We walked all around, marveling at the sights:

20110625-103156.jpg (this was from the Jester daiquiri bar, where I had an electric lemonade and Mike had a strawberry daiquiri – yum)
After all that walking, a nap was in order, so we took one, then hopped in the car, picked a couple of other folks up and had ourselves a little FF meet up at Squeal BBQ.

20110625-103441.jpg That was some damn fine BBQ. I’m still full… So full, in fact, that the FB meet up on Bourbon street was skipped in order to go back to our hotel (did I mention that we have a 2 bed, 2 bath suite? I think it’s bigger than our house.) so that I could unbutton my pants in private.
Tomorrow is a tour of the city, in some way, a second run through the vendors and dinner at Emeril’s. For now, it’s bedtime!!

Personal travel

NOLA Trip – The Day We Began

20110623-073854.jpg The day began with a quick loading of the car, saying goodbye to the boy and the dogs and taking off. We went down 63 to just outside of Memphis and then I-55 into Memphis, before we got off on the Elvis Presley Blvd and out to Graceland. We did that in one single push – we didn’t stop for anything – no pee breaks, no food breaks (we packed a lot of munchies – that helped), no lunch break. We did stop right outside of Graceland and ate burgers at Checkers, but that was a drive-through and we ate in the Graceland parking lot. That was fun… 😉
Once we got to Graceland and unkinked our poor, abused bodies, we went in to see what was what. We got the platinum tour – it was $4 more and included a bunch of the little museum bits around the grounds. The first thing we did was head for the mansion. That was an interesting tour – the rooms weren’t *quite* as tacky as I was expecting, though the gold shot mirrors and dining room table was pretty bad, as was the shag carpeting on the walls of the stairs. When we got to the Jungle room, Mike found a chair that he decided would go nicely in our house…

Following that tour, we looked through the Auto museum (Mike audibly gasped when he was confronted with not one but two Rolls Royce Silver Clouds – one white, one black as we walked in) and dropped some cash in the gift shop (the auto one – we walked around the other shops, but my snark was in full force and I was too busy making comments to buy anything else…), we were done and ready to head out for the last leg of our day.
We made it to Bally’s in Tunica within 30 minutes and got checked in quickly. The room is smallish and a bit grotty, but it was $20 and there is a jetted tub that looks clean! We rested for a bit, then headed to the casino to pay for our room (and we did…) and eat. The buffet was nice, the casino was not at all busy and the video poker was moderately generous. I still walked out with less than I walked in with, but it could have been a lot worse! Now we’re back in the room, getting ready for bed and a full day of driving, touring Vicksburg and checking into our hotel in New Orleans. The LITA happy hour will be a nice end to that day!

Libraries Personal travel

NOLA – Here I Come

I’m getting ready to head out to the Big Easy this weekend. It’s a vacation combined with a bit of work-related socializing. This weekend is the beginning of the national ALA conference (the American Libraries Association, for those of you who aren’t in libraries but are still reading this blog…) and I’m heading down to tour the town, see folks that I only see once or twice a year and get wined (maybe?) and dined (definitely) by Neal-Shuman. They are taking all of the authors of the Tech Set books (those of us that will be in New Orleans, at least) to Emeril’s on Sunday night. Sort of a celebration for winning the Greenwood Publishing award for best library literature of 2011. I’m looking forward to the whole weekend, but that will be a lovely cap for my trip.

We’re heading down there Thursday and coming back on Monday, so it will be a quick trip and without any ALA-related blogging, probably. I’m not registered for the conference, so I won’t be attending any sessions, but I will be hitting the Exhibits (free stuff!!) and will be taking pictures of both my touristy stuff and my ALA get-togethers. Those will show up here, I’m sure!

conference travel Writing

My netbook

Itsy-Bitsy Laptop just getting started Now that I’ve had my itsy-bitsy laptop for about a month, I’m ready to give you all a full review of it. I love it! Ok, that’s enough, right?
No, alrighty then… The specs for my baby (the Acer Aspire One in sapphire blue) are:

  • Windows XP Home
  • 1.6G Atom Processor
  • 1G RAM
  • 1.3 MegaPixel Webcam
  • 2 media card readers – one multi-format, one SD only
  • 160G Hard Drive
  • 802.11b/g Wireless
  • VGA and Audio out
  • 3 USB ports
  • 1 free mini-PCI slot
  • Ethernet port for wired connections
  • Size (LWH): 6.7 inches, 9.8 inches, 1.14 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds

I got the 6 cell battery option, which gives me around 6 to 6 1/2 hours of regular use between charging – which is pretty freakin’ nice! That makes it a touch bigger/heavier than it would be normally, but not so much that it bothers me at all. It’s got a standard keyboard layout with the keys at about 90% of the standard size – so my little hands have no problems and even men with larger hands seem to be able to use it easily. The sapphire blue is gorgeous – but shows fingerprints like nothing I’ve ever seen – I’m constantly wiping the cover down… Itsy-Bitsy Laptop closed
It has a quick boot time – under 30 seconds – and is pretty speedy, considering the limited amount of processor in there! The screen is 8.9 inches and it’s fairly small for everyday work (though I end up using it a lot – I only use my desktop setup for writing, and that’s just because I’ve got a dual monitor setup for that one) but absolutely perfect for traveling.
I took the netbook with me to Internet Librarian this year and found that it was just about perfect for carrying around during sessions and such. There were a bunch of folks with these tiny little laptops around, but I still got a bunch of comments about it every time I sat down and fired it up. Helene Blowers has one of the original netbooks – the Asus – and we had to set them down and compare our teeny tiny laptops – you’ll note mine (on the left) is a touch bigger, but not so much as to be really noticeable.
All in all, I love my little tiny laptop and I’m pretty sure that I have found the perfect traveling companion (at least until my phone beefs up and can start to compare with some of the specs I posted above…). For the price ($400.00 at, it just can’t be beat!

conference travel

Traveling Day – Internet Librarian 2008

Yesterday, I got up at 4am to get my shower, get dressed and get ready for Nikki to come pick me up so that we could go get Bobbi and head out to the great state of California. Monterey, California, to be exact. Traveling was, as always, stressful and obnoxious, but the end result was worth it. We got in to Monterey around 4pm and, after checking in, went out to get some seafood on the Fisherman’s Wharf at Gilbert’s. Good stuff there – I had the salmon. After that, we went to the Crown and Anchor for a bit of early conference socializing. I had to call it off at about 10:30, though, because that was 12:30am according to my body’s clock and I had been up and running since 4am the day before… I did have fun getting to actually *meet* all the people that I communicate with daily via Twitter and FriendFeed, though. Some were old friends (from ALA in June…) and others were new to me – but all of ’em were cool and there were many plans made for the remainder of our time here in Monterey. After the sessions and such, of course!
My first pre-conference session is this afternoon. I’m attending the Project Management In Practice session lead by Mary Auckland (who did the project management for libraries session I attended last year), Helene Blowers, Penny Phensuvabharp and Amanda Etches-Johnson. It should be interesting and fun – I’ll take good notes, too, I promise!


Chillin’ in St. Charles

Today was my driving day – I went from Jefferson City to the suburbs of Chicago on 2/3 tank of gas. I love my car. Anyway, I left this morning and got in at 4ish, registered, got settled and decided to go exploring. Since it’s a bit rainy (not quite Noah’s Ark rainy, but close…), I confined myself to exploring inside, though the outside of the Pheasant Run Resort & Spa looks pretty damn amazing. Can’t wait for the storms to pass so I can wander! The inside is nice, too – with an indoor recreation of Bourbon Street (complete with a Ben & Jerry’s shop!!!) and lots of little shops and cool little nooks. While I was exploring, I stopped and registered for the conference and got the best bag of swag I’ve received for a conference yet. It included a lovely NAGW (National Association of Government Webmasters) polo shirt, a 2G thumb drive and my ticket to Zanies Comedy Club on Friday night to see Kevin Nealon. Score!! My speaker's gift
I then took off for dinner (IHOP – close and cheap…) and came back to go through the paperwork in my bag. I made sure I know what I’m doing for the next few days – tomorrow is pre-conference day where I will be learning about prototyping techniques in the morning and PHP5 in the afternoon – and checked my email/friendfeed/etc.
I’m going to call home now and say goodnight to the kid and the boyfriend and then settle in for some TV. I thought I might check out one of the lounges, but I’m seriously tired and have to be up and at my pre-conference session at 8am tomorrow! I’ll blog about what I’m learning as I learn it!

Oh – I almost forgot – as I was registering, I gave my name and the lady behind the desk started laughing and said “oh yes, the webgoddess!”. I had completely not realized that my job title would be published on the list of attendees page on the website and was way amused to see it there. Apparently she was too. I was blushing like a schoolgirl by the time I left the booth…

presentations travel Web 2.0 Writing

Speaking and Writing and Working, oh my!

I don’t think I’ve completely updated my Presentations & Publications page with all of this yet, but if I do it here, I can just copy & paste later, right? This is my schedule for the next couple of months – if you are going to be around any of these places, look me up and say hi!

Sept 8-12 –National Association of Government Webmasters Conference – speaking on Sept. 11th on Web 3.0, but will be there for the whole conference.
Sept 17th – MaintainIT Webinar on making Public Computers 2.0-ready
October 1-3 – Missouri Library Association Conference – speaking on the 1st on Collaboration 2.0 (2:45-3:30) and Library Learning 2.1 (3:45-4:30) – but will be there for the whole conference, introducing speakers and going to business meetings….
October 19-22nd – Internet Librarian – since I somehow forgot to send in a speaking proposal, I won’t be speaking here – just attending!
Nov/Dec – Computers In Libraries – Article on how to use social media/2.0 tools to collaborate.

That’s it – so far! Hope to see you around at one of these places!!


ALA Left Overs

I just realized I didn’t write up the end of my ALA adventure. I did write up the last couple of sessions I attended at the LITA blog, you can head over there to read my takes on the Top Tech Trends session and the Keeping Your Computers Running session. Beyond that, most of what I did was either attend business meetings (including the Heads of Library Technology meeting) or social events. It’s too far back for me to really get into posting now – but let’s just say that I had a LOT of fun at the Facebook Librarians meetup, the OCLC Blogger’s salon (with apologies to David Lee King and Tony Tallent for monopolizing them at various points in the evening) and at my dinner out with the MaintainIT ladies, Sarah and Brenda. Vietnamese food is something I don’t get very often and I was pleased with both the food and (most importantly) the company! There was a lot of socializing going on at ALA!!
There were also the free food events – OCLC’s breakfast was informative – lots of information about the company and it’s direction, and the EbscoHost Public Libraries Luncheon was fabulous! Seriously great food and good conversation over the table with other public librarians (that was a class of folks that seemed pretty thin on the ground everywhere else – lots of academics, not many public library folks!). Getting a peek at what Ebsco will be releasing over the next months was nice, too! Anyone who follows my Twitter stream got the information about new databases and such at the same time I did – I just had to Twitter it!
Ok, that’s enough for ALA. I’m done (til next year, at least…) with that and I’m ready to tackle a BUNCH of new projects – one of which I’m hoping to firm up in the next 20 minutes or so!! More on that later…



Well, a nice big spike of traffic during ALA, plus a bunch of people checking out my OpenID presentation on SlideShare (the MP3 is hosted on this server) meant that my site became a bit overwhelmed with all the activity. Hmph. My site’s a wuss – who knew? Anyway, I’ve adjusted things and hopefully this won’t happen again! Not that I’m complaining about the traffic…

I’ve got LOTS to write up and no energy with which to do it. I will say that I’ve been attending a lot of great programs and spending time with a bunch of different people – the Blogger’s salon last night and dinner tonight being two of the best experiences I’ve had at ALA thus far. I plan to write up full reports about all of it. Tomorrow. Or maybe Wednesday. Or possible Thursday while I’m on the plane…


More in Jamaica

Oh goodness, where did I leave off? Yesterday, before my planned trip to Rose Hall Main House, I went back out onto the beach, where I laid out with a trashy beach-read novel in one hand and a margarita in the other. This, my friends, is how we are *supposed* to be living! I enjoyed it for a bit too long, however, and I ended up burning the bejeesus out of my legs. Oh well, it was worth it!!
After that a big thunderstorm rolled in and the Rose Hall tour was out. So I came back to my hotel room and relaxed on the balcony (without closing the door behind me…) and watched the storm roll by. After that was a quick trip down to the bar for a before dinner drink, or two. I made the mistake of getting the “special” of the night, a lethal concoction called the “Bam Bam”. It lived up to it’s name (Just about knocked me flat) – and it was the first drink of the trip served with a paper umbrella, so I had to snap a picture.
The deceptively fruity Bam Bam drink! The ingredients of the Bam Bam
After dinner, I went to the talent show, which was great fun! Us Americans won a prize for being the loudest national group there. We were so proud.
After that, I came upstairs, called Mom, talked to Alex and then called in to the Uncontrolled Vocabulary show. It’s usually on while I’m putting Alex to bed, so I’d never called in before, but since I had the opportunity here…
This morning, I got up and went into Montego Bay proper after breakfast. I spent *way* too much money at a little craft fair thing (but folks are getting great souvenirs this time!) and then came back to the hotel in time to catch Erik & Jaap talk about their previous gaming in libraries tour and their current Shanachie Tour. It was an excellent show!
Now I’m getting ready to go to my last “official” session of the conference. Cliff & I agreed to sit in on an Academic SIG meeting and field questions from the members. It should be fun. After that I’ll be joining Michael and Mary for the Rose Hall tour, then possibly on to an English Pub just a bit down the street.
I’ll catch you all up later!

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